CHICAGO – State Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, is highlighting a new equal pay law that outlaws historically discriminatory hiring practices that have locked women in a cycle of unequal and unfair pay.
“It is a shame that some employers today use tactics to deny women fair pay when they fulfill the same job responsibilities their male counterparts perform,” said LaPointe. “Illinois’ new law that bans employers from using discriminatory practices like asking about salary history is a step in the right direction, and the focus needs to stay on course to ensure that all women are paid fairly and equally for their work.”
LaPointe is highlighting House Bill 834, which strengthens state law prohibiting employers from paying unequal wages to employees who have similar experience and perform similar duties. It would also make it illegal for employers to force job applicants to disclose their past wage or salary history when applying for a job, a practice that historically has been used to perpetuate pay inequity against women. Barring corporations and employers from requiring disclosure of salary histories helps break this cycle and prevents companies from locking women into a lifetime of unequal and unfair pay.
The measure received bipartisan support in the House and the Senate, and was recently signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“Since a gender wage gap still exists, House Bill 834 will strengthen the Illinois Equal Pay Act by making it a violation for employers to ask job applicants about their prior salary or to confirm it with their employer, in order to stop perpetuating unequal pay,” said Melissa Josephs, Director of Equal Opportunity Policy with Women Employed. “Instead, employers should hire employees based on their skills and experience, and pay them based on their budget and the going rate for the job.”
LaPointe represents the 19th District, which covers portions of Chicago’s Big Oaks, Dunning, Gladstone Park, Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Union Ridge and West Portage Park neighborhoods, and River Grove, Elmwood Park, Norridge and Harwood Heights.